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Challenge Day 7 – A letter from a sailor


16 August xxxx


As I am sure you are aware, I am rather excited about the prospect of travelling the wide, churning expanse of the seas on what can only be described as a masterpiece of a ship – the Eidolon. It is said to be a ship of Greek heritage – though one can never be sure. Mother has been quite adamant that I remain home, fearing that I would suffer the plague, scurvy or a severe case of sea-sickness but I have assured her that no such thing will occur. The captain, a rather mellow old man whose teeth have aged as well as his hair (that is not at all), has been meticulous in running his ship; a certificate hangs upon the door of his office that affirms this.

To answer your condescending question regarding my affinity for drink, let me take this time to let you know that Missus McKenzie and I have separated… and yes alcohol had become my refuge, my soothing comfort and my lullaby. However it is not the reason for my want to leave this place.  No you see I seek the adventure of the seas, the billowing winds, the rising tides – the call of the captain from the helm. Forget the drink and the flaxen haired maiden that stole my heart – the adventures of the high seas will be far more satisfying! Far more!

Tell mother that I will send her gifts when I can. Anticipate my subsequent letter for I will be writing from within the ship!

Your Brother

Rxxxxx Wxxxxxxxx


03 Novemebr xxxx

It seems that the time I have for writing has not been as frequent as I’d anticipated, however I have managed to pen this to you in the spare time that I’ve found. The captain has been kind enough to send this to the postal office for me as I have quite a bit more chores to do than what I first assumed there would be.

I am sure you are laughing your head off as you read this, your delusional brother knee-deep in chores when he’d spoken of storms and adventures and high sea adventures. Alas it has been more than a month since my departure so you can imagine the amount of work that must be done before we can embark on any adventures. I spoke to the captain and he corroborates this fact to me daily as I scrub the decks, polish the wood and shine the brass. But soon we will be fending off pirates, navigating the deep churning waters and crossing oceans to visit exotic places; the captain speaks of a land on which one would find people such as ourselves though their skin is as sand (the colour not the texture) and they speak in a language that tickles the ears.

I hope you have found the broach that I placed with the letter; it is a broach that the captain has so kindly offered to me that I may pass it on to mother. How is mother? I trust her health is well and that you too are well, sister? The broach, the captain claims, once belonged to a queen of a place he called Ejeept (I am unfamiliar with how it is written) and that the broach is sure to ensure long life and prosperity for any who adorn it. Though you know I do not believe in such superstitious nonsense, I think the sentiment behind the gesture is worthwhile.

Well, let me be off, I wouldn’t want to  take too many liberties with captain when he has been so kind to me. I hope to write to you again soon (with tales of adventure and bravery ha ha!)

Your Brother

Rxxxxx Wxxxxxxxx

P.S. The captain has been talking in his sleep, something about Amphitrite or Salacia and I wonder who that is. Maybe it’ s his wife who passed away. I should ask him more about her…maybe that will comfort him.


You won’t believe it!  Do not think that I jest when I tell you the tale that unfolded right before my very own eyes. Ha sister, are you laughing now? I know I am, for your brother has been an avid participant in a skirmish involving our ship and a pirate ship – yes we were in an intense battle. Let me divulge the details pertaining to that particular encounter.

The captain and I were sailing smoothly along, across the bright glistening waters; the chores complete, captain had hauled out from his desk a bottle of bourbon for us to enjoy as a treat for a successful day’s work (yes, yes I know but we did not drink that much I assure you!). The captain, his thin frail hair billowing with the breeze and a half drunk smile lighting up his face, had tipped his captains hat at me in a gesture of playfulness. I was roaring with laughter, the captain’s antics and a bit of the alcohol’s inundating influence a contributing factor to the jovial atmosphere on the ship. Suddenly, in a burst of wood and glass shrapnel, with the captain’s hat lying tattered at our feet, the boat quivered, followed by the animalistic howl of what could only be pirates. We rose from where we sat, the captain barking orders to prepare the ship, raise the sails and ready the cannons. The enemy ship rolled out across the seas, smoke billowing from its faring nostrils, awaiting the subsequent cannon fire from their dark chambers.  I was, of course, not merely standing around taking in the magnificence of the enemy ship – oh no, I was peddling out our own canon, rolling it out towards the open cavity, awaiting the command of the captain. When his gruff, old-man voice barked at me to “FIRE” I lit the fuse and almost blanched with fear as the canon ball boomed out of the canon, rocketing towards the enemy ship in a haze of gunpowder and smoke. With much exuberance I danced for joy at my first canon fire only to hear subsequent fire from the enemy ship. The captain had gone silent and I was, for a second, struck with fear and trembling. Not a second later, our ship exploded in wood shrapnel, brass pieces and frayed cloth, flying about me like confetti at a wedding.

How we survived that skirmish I do not know, but captain claims that his jewel from that foreign place he calls Ejeept, rescued us from certain death. I assert that the captain has been deeply affected by the battle as he now constantly calls upon the name of his dead wife (I may have mentioned her in my previous letter) as though she were the ship itself. Nonetheless we have survived and the ship, I found, was in surprisingly good condition considering the battering it had endured.

Well I must go tend to the captain now, his calls for Amphitrite( whom he also refers to as Salacia) have become of themselves a nuisance though I do find at times that I hear a second person reply to his conversations but I attribute that to the wind. After all, only the two of us are aboard this vessel and I sure am certain that no such superstitious nonsense exists on this planet of ours.

Your Brother

Rxxxxx Wxxxxxxxx


02 February xxxx

Sister I am in need of your assistance. The captain…well the captain has indeed become lost! He mumbles away prayers and supplications to this unknown entity that pervades our ship and I am afraid. Afraid not of the entity or for the captain’s sanity, but my own too. You see, she speaks to me too and I assert that it is because of that blasted amulet! (If you can pry the amulet from mother’s hands, please do. I fear I may have been wrong in my assumption that nothing exists between this temporal plane we live in and the ethereal.) I have found myself eyeing the captain’s amulet, seeking it for myself – I’ve been tempted to snatch it away from his bony fingers, and escape into the azure depths below. Oh but I fight the temptation daily, fend it off with chores, chores and more chores.

I will be sending this letter by means of a courier once we reach port (should we ever reach port with that old man’s ramblings!) and I do wish to return home soon – that is my desire.

Your Brother

Rxxxxx Wxxxxxxxx


Mrs Wxxxx Wxxxxxxxx

It is with our sincerest condolences that we, the National Naval Office write this letter to you to inform you that your brother, Rxxxxx Wxxxxxxxx has been found adrift along the northern coastal line of Africa. He was clutching within his hands an amulet which has been sent along with this letter. We also do regret that his body has gone missing and we are urgently attending to this matter, looking to resolve it soon. We are following reports of his sighting in places near to his home town and that he is heard calling for Amphitrite but I assure you that these rumours are false and we will get to the bottom of this mystery.


General Txxxxxxx Lxxxx of the 12th Brigade


About Nthato Morakabi

Nthato Morakabi is a South African published author. He has short stories appearing in both international and local anthologies, and has published his first book, Beneath the Wax, which opens his three-part novella series "Wax". He is an avid reader, blogger and writer.

4 responses »

  1. Enjoyed this post. The style you used was great.

  2. Thanks! It was fun to write and think in such a manner. Thanks for the heads up on the typo too 😉

  3. i read this a while ago, but didn’t comment…but I did enjoy reading it very much. Keep it up! 😀


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